Choosing the Therapist Who Is Right For You

By: Julia Keys

It can be quite discouraging when you finally have a meeting with a mental health professional and you two just don’t “click”. Because therapy is a highly personal method of treatment, it is important to find a therapist that you feel understands you. Just like every patient is different, every therapist is different too.  When researching therapists, try to determine the way you like to approach your problems.

If you believe that there are unconscious processes that can help explain your emotions or behavior, then a psycho-dynamic therapist might be right for you. If you want to change the way you think in order to change certain behaviors of yours then you might want to give a cognitive behavioral therapist a try. If you are the type that is focused on the future then solution based therapy might be the right kind of treatment for you. If you want to work on your relationship with a significant other or your family, then maybe you could approach a family oriented systems therapist. If you feel as if none of these types of therapists seem right, then call potential therapists up and ask them to describe their approach until you find one that resonates with you.

Once you find a therapist that feels like a good fit, pay attention to how your sessions go. Do you feel like your therapist is a good listener? Do you feel safe in the presence of your therapist? Do you find your therapist nonjudgmental? Of course there are infinite factors that determine whether or not you and your therapist “click” or not, however the most important thing is to always check in with yourself and notice if the fit feels right. At Arista Counseling, we have a multitude of different therapists that can help you.

Sources:

https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/articles/200712/how-do-i-choose-the-right-doctor

https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/freudian-sip/201102/how-find-the-best-therapist-you

Image Source:

https://www.google.com/search?hl=en&tbm=isch&source=hp&biw=1600&bih=757&ei=sf7aXMHwHoSxggeKhb_gCw&q=puzzle+piece+&oq=puzzle+piece+&gs_l=img.3..0l10.4603.7635..8063…0.0..0.78.818.13……1….1..gws-wiz-img…..0..35i39.xtTCM_r69gA#imgrc=EBrdS_aoYQlb8M:

How Social Media Affects Mental Health

By Jillian Hoff

In a world where most individuals are obsessively using social media, it can be detrimental to a person’s mental health.  Some of the most common symptoms that come from excessive use of social media include an increase in anxiety, depression, isolation, and fear of missing out (FOMO). Humans need social interaction, which can be given through social media but only to an extent. Humans need an in person social interaction with the people around them to feel connected. There is a reliance on social media to be able to connect with others now, especially during the pandemic. The convenience that comes from using social media may seem like it is beneficial but it the overuse of it can be the reason for your decline in mental health.

How to know when social media is affecting your mental health:

  • You start spending more time on social media than with your friends in person.
  • You compare yourself to others on social media.
  • You find yourself being distracted while you are at work or school.
  • Using social media is disrupting you sleep.

Ways to improve on mental health after a social media addiction:

  • Turn off your phone at certain times of the day.
  • Keep your phone or tablet in a different room when you are completing a task or going to bed.
  • Use social media in an active way instead of passively. This means you are using social media for a purpose.
  • Take on a new hobby or adventure to new places as a means of meeting new people and getting off of your phone.
  • Interact with others when you go somewhere instead of sitting on your phone.

Know when to put down your phone, it will make all the difference in your mental health!

If you or someone you know is seeking therapy, please contact our psychotherapy offices in New York or New Jersey to talk to one of our licensed professional psychologists, psychiatrists, psychiatric nurse practitioners, or psychotherapists at Arista Counseling & Psychotherapy. Contact our Paramus, NJ or Manhattan, NY offices respectively, at (201) 368-3700 or (212) 722-1920 to set up an appointment. For more information, please visit http://www.counselingpsychotherapynjny.com/

Sources

https://www.riseservices.org/the-impact-of-social-media-on-mental-health/

https://www.helpguide.org/articles/mental-health/social-media-and-mental-health.htm

Eating Disorders Part 3: Eating Disorders in the LGBTQ Community

Members of the LGBTQ community experience an array of challenges that pose as risk factors in developing an eating disorder. Many members of the community experience fear of rejection from individuals they are close with and those outside their immediate circle; they often experience verbal or non- verbal violence, PTSD, discrimination, inability to meet the body image ideals within some LGBTQ contexts, internalized homophobia or transphobia, and more. These negative experiences can lead to depression or anxiety, which in turn can result in unhealthy coping mechanisms like an eating disorder. Past research indicates that about 54% of LGBT adolescents have been diagnosed with a full blown eating disorder (ED), and an additional 21% of LGBT adolescents reported they suspected having had an ED at some point in their lives. Further, about 61% of LGBT adolescents in one study reported that they had engaged in at least one disordered eating behavior in the past year. These statistics emphasize the importance of learning about the diverse, root causes of EDs within the community and how they manifest.

EDs manifest differently in the sub- groups of the LGBTQ community, and are experienced at higher rates compared to their straight or cis- gendered counterparts. In one study, adult and adolescent lesbians reported more binge eating, purging, and laxative use than their heterosexual counterparts, as well as the highest rate of binge- eating compared to any other sexual orientation. Lesbian women also report the highest rates of weight- based self- worth, while bisexual women have been found to report the highest levels of eating pathology compared to lesbian and gay men. Further, gay men report a higher likelihood of engaging in exercise with the intention of losing weight, restrictive eating, fasting, bingeing, purging, and diet pill use compared to their heterosexual counterparts. Lastly, transgender and gender- nonconforming youth seem to be at particular risk for developing an ED; this is due to all risk factors mentioned above, as well as conflicting gender identity and being dissatisfied with their body.

Despite these findings and the clear prevalence rate of such pathology within the community, and increased rates in relation to their straight/ cis- gendered counterparts, many members do not seek help. Many LGBTQ individuals fear their therapist or doctor won’t understand the unique problems within their community. In order to increase rates of treatment, we need to strive for cultural competency in which providers understand the unique experiences of LGBTQ individuals that can lead to EDs, and what EDs look like within the subgroups of the community.

If you or someone you know is seeking therapy for an eating disorder, please contact our psychotherapy offices in New York or New Jersey to talk to one of our licensed professional psychologists, psychiatrists, psychiatric nurse practitioners, or psychotherapists at Arista Counseling & Psychotherapy. Contact our Paramus, NJ or Manhattan, NY offices respectively, at (201) 368-3700 or (212) 722-1920 to set up an appointment. For more information, please visit http://www.counselingpsychotherapynjny.com/

Sources:

https://jeatdisord.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s40337-020-00327-y

https://www.nationaleatingdisorders.org/learn/general-information/lgbtq

https://jeatdisord.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s40337-020-00327-y

https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1002/eat.23257

Unexpected and Unwanted Pregnancy: The Psychological Effects of a Pregnancy One is Not Ready For

By: Rebecca Fernandez

Unexpected and unwanted pregnancies can end in one of three ways. The first: The pregnant woman carries the fetus to term and keeps the child, putting her previous life on hold to raise a child into a life that is not ready for them. The second: the pregnant woman carries the fetus to term and gives the child up for adoption after birth – at which point she may have grown extremely attached to them. Finally, the third: the pregnant woman undergoes an abortion.

While none of the above options are desirable, it is important to note that none of them are any more emotionally destructive than the others. Thus, contrary to many pro-life arguments, abortion isn’t a particular source of trauma. Rather, abortion is a solution to the broader traumatic issue of unexpected and unwanted pregnancy.

The impossible choice can leave a woman feeling helpless and alone. All of the options can be painful and traumatic. Whether the specific thoughts and feelings revolve around the woman losing her previous life and anticipated future to take care of a child, losing a child that she grew attached to throughout her pregnancy, or undergoing an abortion and losing the opportunity to raise a child because she isn’t ready, the lasting effects – grief and otherwise – can remain for a very long time. The different regrets – what-ifs, guilt, sorrow, grief, self-hatred, self-doubt, etc. – stemming from any of these choices all have the potential to linger for the rest of the woman’s life.

For anyone presented with this impossible crossroads, the most important thing to remember is that whatever decision you make is valid. There is no magic solution, and the best one of the three options varies with each individual woman’s situation. All of the options can lead to pain and trauma. To move forward with life after this point, it is important to work through your feelings by talking to friends or loved ones. Speaking with a therapist can be extremely beneficial as well. You are not alone – help is out there.

If you or someone you know is struggling with mental health after an unexpected or unwanted pregnancy, please contact our psychotherapy offices in New York or New Jersey to talk to one of our licensed professional psychologists, psychiatrists, psychiatric nurse practitioners, or psychotherapists at Arista Counseling & Psychotherapy. Contact our Paramus, NJ or Manhattan, NY offices respectively, at (201) 368-3700 or (212) 722-1920 to set up an appointment. For more information, please visit http://www.counselingpsychotherapynjny.com/

https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/articles/199707/the-effects-abortion

https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/articles/200811/abortion-and-the-emotions-it-brings

https://www.guttmacher.org/gpr/2006/08/abortion-and-mental-health-myths-and-realities#

Vaping; Vaping Addiction is Becoming More Prevalent in Teenagers and Young Adults

Vaping; Vaping Addiction is Becoming More Prevalent in Teenagers and Young Adults

By: Priya Desai

Vaping has risen tremendously in the past couple of years, especially within the teenage population.  Patients as young as 13 years old were reported to either get sick or die after they vaped. Products that are harmful to your body would be e-cigarettes that include nicotine, THC, and even vitamin E acetate. Many users started using vapes that contain vitamin E to help them reduce their use or contain their use, but these were recently found to be harmful too. People’s lungs end up looking like popcorn lungs due to vaping. Vaping is linked to EVALI which stands for e-cigarette or vaping use-associated lung injury. Symptoms for this disease include shortness of breath, coughing, vomiting, fever and chills, chest pain, dizziness, headache, and diarrhea. To diagnose this, doctors evaluate the patient’s history of vaping devices and take an X-ray of the chest or a CT scan of the lungs. This disease is newer, and among the cases reported, about 96% of patients have needed to be hospitalized.

Vaping is extremely addictive and many teens smoke this to fit in, but this is also why many of them enter early adulthood with a nicotine addiction. Teenager’s vape out of curiosity. There are a variety of different flavors these products provide, and so the teens often do tricks with the device. Normal cigarette smoking has gone down within the teenage population, but e-cigarettes have gone up because they are “easier” to get away with since there is no odor and they are easier to hide. People are also attracted to the different flavors that stores sell. Although e-cigarettes might not seem that harmful, one pod of liquid nicotine is equivalent to smoking one pack of cigarettes.

If you or someone you know is seeking therapy for a vaping addiction, please contact our psychotherapy offices in New York or New Jersey to talk to one of our licensed professional psychologists, psychiatrists, psychiatric nurse practitioners, or psychotherapists at Arista Counseling & Psychotherapy. Contact our Paramus, NJ or Manhattan, NY offices respectively, at (201) 368-3700 or (212) 722-1920 to set up an appointment. For more information, please visit http://www.counselingpsychotherapynjny.com/

Citations: https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/mind-matters-menninger/202001/vaping-teens-are-dying-be-cool-and-collected

https://www.lung.org/lung-health-diseases/lung-disease-lookup/evali

https://www.rallyhealth.com/quit-smoking/why-do-so-many-teens-vape

Image Citation: https://www.google.com/url?sa=i&url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.ochd.org%2F2020%2F09%2F18%2Fcdc-study-reveals-teen-vaping-use-down-in 2020%2F&psig=AOvVaw1NH06SDRcHM5tWOL_daimc&ust=1631802234262000&source=images&cd=vfe&ved=0CAsQjRxqFwoTCIDMk6uXgfMCFQAAAAAdAAAAABAM

ADHD in Girls: Suffering in Silence

ADHD in Girls: Suffering in Silence

By: Stacey Rodriguez

Generally thought to be a disorder specific to school-aged boys, attention deficit disorder (ADHD) has shown to be relatively prevalent in girls as well. The disorder includes 3 subtypes: hyperactive and impulsive  (HI), inattentive, and combination. ADHD is commonly associated with the HI subtype, which is most commonly exhibited by boys. Contrastingly, girls tend to exhibit the inattentive subtype. By nature, inattentive features are not as overtly obstructive as that of hyperactivity and impulsivity, often causing them to go unnoticed. In fact, studies estimate that 75% of girls with attention deficit disorder never get diagnosed. Additionally, it is theorized that societal norms, such as gender roles, might also be a factor in this disparity; since many overt characteristics of ADHD do not align with female gender norms, such as the tendency to be disorganized or interrupt others speaking, girls with the disorder tend to suppress the tell tale signs. 

The result of undiagnosed attention deficit disorder can be detrimental, as it can lead to mental health consequences in adulthood. This is largely due to the fact that girls tend to internalize mistakes. This internalization leads to negative internal dialogues, which puts girls with ADHD at higher risk for eating disorders, anxiety disorders, and depression. It is imperative to be aware of the ways in which the disorder manifests differently in girls. For example,

A girl with ADHD might:

-be more more easily irritated, or sensitive to certain sounds/feelings

-talk significantly more than her peers and often interrupt others

-struggle to commit to completing tasks or activities

-often make “careless” errors

-seem to be especially disorganized

-tend to be forgetful

If you or someone you know is seeking therapy for attention deficit disorder, please contact our psychotherapy offices in New York or New Jersey to talk to one of our licensed professional psychologists, psychiatrists, psychiatric nurse practitioners, or psychotherapists at Arista Counseling & Psychotherapy. Contact our Paramus, NJ or Manhattan, NY offices respectively, at (201) 368-3700 or (212) 722-1920 to set up an appointment. For more information, please visit http://www.counselingpsychotherapynjny.com/

Source: https://www.cfpsych.org/blog/what-parents-need-to-know-about-adhd-in-girls/

Image Source: https://psychbc.com/blog/adhd-is-different-for-girls-what-families-need-to-know

Mindfulness: Its Effects on Anxiety and Depression

Mindfulness: Its Effects on Anxiety and Depression

By: Stacey Rodriguez

Mindfulness, derived from Buddhist teachings, is a practice which fosters introspective awareness. It’s main principles consist of actively experiencing the present moment, as well as practicing radical acceptance. Radical acceptance is a distress tolerance skill, which is implemented by openly recognizing thoughts and experiences without the tension of subjective or negative perception. Central facets of radical acceptance include self compassion and validation. This perspective emphasizes defusion, which is the process of separating the mind from its thoughts; the act of perceiving oneself as the observer of one’s thoughts, rather than identifying with them, allows individuals to healthily process emotions while remaining grounded and rational. Mindfulness is a defining feature of several modern therapeutic approaches, such as dialectical behavioral therapy (DBT) and mindfulness based cognitive therapy (MBCT). DBT is a form of cognitive therapy, in which the approach focuses on recognizing maladaptive behavioral patterns and core beliefs. Similarly, MBCT uses cognitive behavioral therapy supplemented by mindfulness meditative practices, in order to help individuals become aware of their thoughts and feelings all while avoiding the loop of negativity. 

Practicing mindfulness has proven to have an abundance of promising effects on the mind and body. Overall, it has shown to significantly reduce anxiety and depression. Methodical data suggests that the practice influences stress pathways, and even modifies structure and activity in regions associated with attention and emotion regulation in the brain. Additionally, studies have found mindfulness to have the same moderate effect on treating depression as does medication, as well as moderate effects on anxiety and pain. 

Some mindful activities include:

  • Journaling
  • Practicing breathing techniques
  • Mediation
  • Yoga

If you or someone you know is seeking therapy for depression or anxiety, please contact our psychotherapy offices in New York or New Jersey to talk to one of our licensed professional psychologists, psychiatrists, psychiatric nurse practitioners, or psychotherapists at Arista Counseling & Psychotherapy. Contact our Paramus, NJ or Manhattan, NY offices respectively, at (201) 368-3700 or (212) 722-1920 to set up an appointment. For more information, please visit http://www.counselingpsychotherapynjny.com/

Source:https://www.apa.org/topics/mindfulness/meditation#:~:text=Researchers%20reviewed%20more%20than%20200,%2C%20pain%2C%20smoking%20and%20addiction.

https://www.apa.org/monitor/2015/03/cover-mindfulness

Image source: https://news.harvard.edu/gazette/story/2018/04/harvard-researchers-study-how-mindfulness-may-change-the-brain-in-depressed-patients/

PTSD in First Responders

By Jillian Hoff

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder is extremely common among first responders. This is because of their high exposure rate to traumatic incidents. Some of the common signs and symptoms for PTSD include flashbacks or dreams about the incident, losing interest in activities, refusing to talk about the event and sleep disturbances. Most first responders do tend to avoid seeking treatment for their PTSD. This typically is because of the stigma that surrounds mental health in general. These individuals might feel as though people will see them as weak for seeking the help they need, which is not the case. Often times when the individual does not treat their PTSD it will worsen, which since first responders do not get to just stop working makes their symptoms even worse.

Some ways that first responders can help their PTSD would be to have a support system. This especially could be the people who were also there during the traumatic event, this way they can talk about what happened and how it made them feel with an individual who was also there.  To gain positive coping strategies, it could be extremely helpful to engage in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. This could help the person manage some of their stress that relates to the incident. Most importantly, the person needs to remember why they love being a first responder and all the positives that come from their job. While the negative times within this profession can be hard to handle, it is important to remember all the good that comes from what first responders do.

If you or someone you know is suffering from PTSD, please contact our psychotherapy offices in New York or New Jersey to talk to one of our licensed professional psychologists, psychiatrists, psychiatric nurse practitioners, or psychotherapists at Arista Counseling & Psychotherapy. Contact our Paramus, NJ or Manhattan, NY offices respectively, at (201) 368-3700 or (212) 722-1920 to set up an appointment. For more information, please visit http://www.counselingpsychotherapynjny.com/

Sources

https://eraseptsdnow.org/first-responder/shining-a-light-on-ptsd-among-first-responders

https://www.suicideinfo.ca/resource/first-responders-trauma-intervention-suicide-prevention/

https://www.jems.com/administration-and-leadership/first-responders-and-ptsd-a-literature-review/

Borderline Personality Disorder: A Battle Within The Mind

Borderline Personality Disorder: A Battle Within The Mind

By: Arianna DiRaggio

Personality disorders can often go unnoticed. This is because they are typically difficult to spot and hard to treat. It is very easy to dismiss or look past one’s behavior and simply label it as their personality, never looking more into it. Since it is so difficult to spot, it is important for these individuals to seek help for themselves when the symptoms may be atypical or cause distress.

Borderline personality disorder, also known as BPD, is a mental health disorder characterized by instability and impulsivity. This instability and impulsivity often makes it difficult to function in everyday life.

Symptoms of BPD:

  • Efforts to avoid real or imagined abandonment
  • A pattern of unstable and intense interpersonal relationships
  • Persistent and unstable sense of self
  • Impulsive behaviors
  • Self-harming behavior
  • Rapidly changing mood swings
  • Feeling like they are “losing touch with reality”
  • Difficulty regulating emotional reactions

About 2% of adults are affected by BPD and 75% of those affected are women. Luckily, considerable amounts of research on BPD have been done over the years, allowing us to further understand and assist those struggling with BPD. Different forms of therapy, medications and holistic treatments have all shown positive effects in helping to suppress symptoms. 

If you or a loved one is suffering from Borderline Personality Disorder, please contact Arista Counseling & Psychotherapy, located in New York and New Jersey to speak to licensed professional psychologists, psychiatrists, psychiatric nurse practitioners or psychotherapists. To contact the office in Paramus NJ, call (201) 368-3700. To contact the office in Manhattan, call (212) 722-1920. For more information, please visit http://www.counselingpsychotherapynjny.com/ .

Sources: 

https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/basics/borderline-personality-disorder

https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/borderline-personality-disorder/symptoms-causes/syc-20370237

https://www.dummies.com/health/mental-health/borderline-personality-disorder-for-dummies-cheat-sheet/

Eating Disorders Part 2: Black Women with Eating Disorders

By: Abby Erasmus

Black women in America have a unique experience; their intersecting identities make them one of the most discriminated- against groups in America, resulting in mental health issues. Eating disorders (ED), for example, are not new within the Black community. Black women live with EDs at similar rates to all ethnic and demographic groups- but often times in the shadows. The majority of ED studies focus on white women. This ignores the fact that ED causes and manifestation can be different in other populations. Further, the most commonly researched ED is Anorexia Nervosa (AN), yet AN is not the typical ED experience of Black women. Binge Eating Disorder (BED) and Bulimia nervosa (BN) are the most common EDs among Black women, with Black girls being 50 times more likely to engage in BN behaviors than white girls. Because BED and BN aren’t frequently researched, they’re harder to correctly diagnose in patients; it is thus highly unlikely Black women will be diagnosed with an ED at all. To increase the likelihood that Black women will be correctly diagnosed and receive treatment, it is important to know the key symptoms of BED and BN. Listed here are some key symptoms:

BED: Recurrent, persistent episodes of binge eating & absence of compensatory behaviors like purging. The binge eating episodes are associated with 3 or more of the following: eating more rapidly than normal, eating until uncomfortably full, eating large amounts when not physically hungry, eating alone due to embarrassment of how much one is eating, feeling disgusted with oneself, depressed, or guilty after overeating.

BN: Recurrent episodes of binging that are characterized by eating an amount of food within a 2- hour period that is definitively larger than what most people eat in that time period, accompanied by feeling unable to stop eating/ control the amount one is eating & recurrent compensatory behaviors like: self- induced vomiting, misuse of laxatives, excessive exercise, and more.

Additionally, stigma exists in the Black community in regard to receiving help due to complex stereotypes, histories, etc., and stigma in regard to EDs is dramatized as they are labeled a white woman’s problem. Once we call attention to ED prevalence and manifestation in the community, stigma will be reduced both within and outside of the community. This will then increase the likelihood that Black woman will receive an accurate diagnosis and appropriate treatment for their ED. Further, when providers are made aware of the daily micro and macro aggressions that can result in poor mental health and potentially maladaptive coping mechanisms like an ED, providers will be prepared to address such issues during sessions. The nuanced narrative of EDs within the Black community must be disseminated.

If you or someone you know is seeking therapy for an eating disorder,  please contact our psychotherapy offices in New York or New Jersey to talk to one of our licensed professional psychologists, psychiatrists, psychiatric nurse practitioners, or psychotherapists at Arista Counseling & Psychotherapy. Contact our Paramus, NJ or Manhattan, NY offices respectively, at (201) 368-3700 or (212) 722-1920 to set up an appointment. For more information, please visit http://www.counselingpsychotherapynjny.com/

Sources:

https://www.nationaleatingdisorders.org/blog/new-dsm-5-binge-eating-disorder

https://www.centralcoasttreatmentcenter.com/blog-1/invisibility-of-eating-disorders-in-the-black-community-its-more-than-the-eating-disorder-stereotype

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK519712/table/ch3.t16/

Beyond “Eating Disorders Don’t Discriminate”

Bipolar Disorder in Children and Teens

Bipolar Disorder in Children and Teens

By: Nicolette Lombardi

Bipolar disorder causes people to experience noticeable extreme changes in their mood and behavior. Researchers are studying genetic mechanisms that link to bipolar disorder and other mental health disorders. Research has proven that people have a higher chance of being diagnosed with the illness if a close family member has the same genetic variations as them. Stressful life events can increase the chances of someone developing a bipolar disorder.

Children and teens having a manic episode will feel very happy or ‘up’ while a depressive episode results in the feeling of hopelessness or ‘down’. This disorder is usually diagnosed in adulthood but symptoms may appear earlier in childhood.

Children/ Teens experiencing a manic episode:

  • Intense happiness for long period of time
  • Short temper
  • Trouble sleeping but not tired
  • Trouble focusing and experience racing thoughts

Children/ Teens experiencing a depressive episode:

  • Unprovoked sadness
  • Increased irritability and anger
  • Little energy and no interest in  previous activities 
  • Difficulty maintaining relationships

If you or someone you know is struggling with bipolar disorder, please contact our psychotherapy offices in New York or New Jersey to talk to one of our licensed professional psychologists, psychiatrists, psychiatric nurse practitioners, or psychotherapists at Arista Counseling & Psychotherapy. Contact our Paramus, NJ or Manhattan, NY offices respectively, at (201) 368-3700 or (212) 722-1920 to set up an appointment. For more information, please visit http://www.counselingpsychotherapynjny.com/

Source: https://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/publications/bipolar-disorder-in-children-and-teens#part_6186